The words we use and the order in we use them give particular meaning to our communication. There are certain occasions when the meaning is clear even though the words used are technically wrong. But you cannot be certain that everyone with whom you communicate with will understand what you are saying or the person who is sending you a message. Prejudice is an unreasonable dislike or preference for a person or group based on their religion, race sex etc.
While perception is how you notice things especially with your senses. Since we use most of our senses to communicate, most people will use the most dominant senses they have to pass a message and the outlook will determine how we judge them, for example a person may be a visually dominant person and you may maybe a touch oriented person so the way he may pass on a message to you will not come out clearly or it may bring out a different meaning as to what it was originally intended to.
Incorrect expression will mean that the ideas that are to be conveyed will not be clear and you may lose interest in the message or communication and thus you will come out with a different perspective of the person conveying this message or the message itself. As humans we tend to have this weakness of stereotyping people once we look at them.
We tend to judge people from their outside appearance rather than from what they say or do but once a person has written or spoken something we come out with a different view of them according to Pearson, nelson, titsworth and harter (2003) our expectations and our expressions of the behavior of others are guided by how we perceive them and its through their communications is how we will look at it. How words dictate pride and prejudice Here is where we will discuss how use of words will affect how we perceive people and how prejudice will come in.
Adopting the proper use of words are both crucial to both personal and business life. Unless friends and acquaintances know what they mean, relationships will become strained. Unless employees interpret what is communicated to them well, work production will go down. so the proper use of words will dictate how we interpret things and use them in our day to day activities. Words can be seen as formal and distance lacking the personal touch which is so often positive, a feature in other forms of communications.
It takes a highly skilled communicator to interpret the message to its intended form. People tend to use complicated words which they may try to impress the person receiving the message …. “Never use complicated words or phrases for simple things” (sillars 1988) as it will bring a huge meaning from what it was originally meant to and it will make the message receiver look at it from a different perspective. Using inaccurate words and in a misplaced order will affect how a message is supposed to be passed along.
Words tend to lose their effects through constant use, its far better to be specific and clear than to risk irritating and confusing to the receiver of the message… “communicators who fail to realize that persons from different cultures may not look think or act as themselves do run the risks of having those whom they interact with judge them to be insensitive ignorant or culturally confused” (gamble 2002) like a word which may mean happiness to you may mean totally different in another different community or country.
Since perception is through our senses and our senses vary, we interpret words and messages differently. Not everyone perceives things the way we do, we form stereotypes of people, things and situations so the way a message is passed along and the words used in the message dictates how we will perceive the message and interpret it.
Each individual perception of a message is influenced by his or her attitude thus out of the massive information available to us we will pick out the messages that has words that conform to our own beliefs, expectations or convictions and we tend to reject the information that has words which contradicts them. Our selective processes allow us to add delete or change stimuli so that we can avoid dealing with certain information. Wrong use of words can also lead to a process called selective perception which is the tendency to see hear and believe only what u want.
Words can help us form first impression about people thus first impressions can dramatically affect perception about people…”you will find that people usually attribute positive qualities to persons A, selecting a descriptive word with very positive connotations in contrast, persons B is often perceived as possessing negative qualities and for this reason the word chosen to describe B has also negative connotations” (gamble 2002) Perhaps the most difficult thing with words is that they can mean two different things to two different people, and they do not have the opportunity to query it immediately.
Benjamin Disraeli, the first English prime minister of Jewish descend and a brilliant novelist used to reply in this words to admires who send him large manuscripts of their own in the hopes of gaining his advice…. ”many thanks, I shall loose no time in reading it”. The gulf between what he meant and what they thought he meant was, we can guess, considerable.
Everyone who works with words should be aware of how they can take on a new, different and disturbing meaning in the minds of others, and should guard against this by checking even the most apparent straightforward expressions before using them. Many new words add vigor and strength to a language and can be very effective when used in the right context.
Words need to be used with caution if you do not want to be ambiguous, inaccurate or totally incomprehensible in what you say, even if a new word or a new saying becomes common and is heard in every television or radio broadcast, try not to adopt it immediately and uncritically, pause for a moment and consider whether it helps to clarify the ideas it puts forward, or whether it obscures it otherwise it will bring forward a different perception of the message it intended to pass forward…”it is also important to realize that a word that does not function for you may function
differently for another person even if you did not intend it to be given a certain interpretation”(gamble 2002) Since we assign meaning on the basis of our experience, and since no two people have the same set of experiences, it follows that no two people will have the same meaning for the same word. This aspect should neither be lauded nor cursed; it should simply be remembered. Too frequently we let our words lead us away from where we want to go, we unwittingly antagonize our family, friends and co-workers. We are i
nfuriated, For example, when an important deal collapses because our position has not been understood; or we are terrified when the leaders of government miscommunicate and put their counties on a collision cause. In order to avoid or alleviate such problems, we must remember that meaning can change as people who use their words change. You might wear a sports jacket or a sweater or a Pair of jeans to a casual party, but this does not mean that everyone else who is invited to that party would interpret casual in the same way.
The meaning people attribute to symbols and words are affected by their background, age, educational level and work. Forgetting this can cause misunderstandings and lead to communication difficulties. “Words in themselves have no meaning, the meaning resides in the mind of the communicators”(sillars 1988). try to identify how the lives of people with whom you communicate with can cause them to respond to words in ways you would not respond. Different responses are neither right nor wrong they are simply different.
Conclusion While points argued attempt to reflect accurate use of words, they should be used with certain limitation and care. Remember that human beings are the same physically but they may differ in mind and reasoning, even the meaning of words may change or alter with time. For example, scholars who edit Shakespeare have to update the punctuation of earlier editions so that the contemporary reader can gain a proper grasp of the meaning and movements of the speeches and the significance to the actions.
Be clear, be accurate, and be concise, always choosing the words which make you point in the most direct way, and you will be able to communicate effectively. References Baran, (2004) introduction to mass communication, McGraw hill companies New York Harter, nelson, Pearson, titsworth (2003) human communication, McGraw hill companies New York Michael gamble, Teri gamble, (2002) how communication works, McGraw hill companies New York Sillars (1988), success in communication, john Murray (publishers) ltd, London Sillars (1981) communication rules ok! John Murray (publishers) ltd, London.